A Very Pregnant Christmas

"For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope." Jeremiah 29:11

My first three children were each born during the summer, which meant I wasn’t very far along in the pregnancy at Christmas time. But with Benjamin I was 35 weeks along on Christmas Day. I had been in my twenty’s when I carried the first three, but was thirty-six years old while carrying Ben. Age made a big difference in the comfort of that pregnancy, because I carried him for thirty-nine weeks, and was sick thirty-four of them.

Ben was also pushing against a nerve in my back that resulted in unexpected stabbing pains in the front of my hips. I would be walking along in a store when suddenly the stabbing pain would hit, causing me to double over and moan in pain. (If you’re looking for an attention-getter, this one works.)

Our family had many fun Christmas traditions that included the children, but that Christmas I couldn’t do any of them. The mall always decorated with tall toy soldiers, big, brightly wrapped gifts, and lots of beautiful bows with greenery everywhere. Every year the children were excited to see the beauty of it all, but when my eight, ten and twelve year old asked to go to the mall that year I had to say no. The disappointment was written all over their faces, but they didn’t argue.

During that time we were lifting the roof on one side of our house and installing a dormer to make room for our growing family. That work began the first week of December and ended on January twentieth. (The temperature outside never went below twenty degrees while we took the roof off one side of our house, which was a miracle from God!)


Rebuilding our upstairs required that we empty everything out of the second floor of our house (including the contents of the attic) and relocate it to other places. We stuffed the camper with clothes, put the children’s bureaus in the cellar and dismantled their beds. 


I had always decorated the entire house for Christmas, but because I was sick and construction was everywhere, I didn’t do any of that-except the Christmas tree. I told the children we would have to buy a pre-cut tree at the tree farm because my hips hurt too badly to walk through the field. They were disappointed because walking through the field to find the ‘perfect tree’ was one of our Christmas traditions. Michael was working at his full time job, then working every night on the house, so he couldn’t take them. 


When the owner of the tree farm heard that I couldn’t take the children out in the field she volunteered to help them find a perfect tree out in the field. She patiently waited for them to agree on a tree, then helped cut it down and bring it out of the field. The children came back with rosy cheeks, big smiles and a great deal of satisfaction. They had found the ‘perfect tree’.


The girls slept on a pull-out couch in the Living Room, and their brother slept on cushions on the floor. I had been so disappointed to think we couldn’t decorate the house, but they enjoyed falling asleep every night by the lights of the Christmas tree.


I have no idea what possessed us to do so, but we decided to put a new floor in the kitchen and dining room while the other construction was being done. In preparation we emptied the bottom kitchen cupboards, then moved the cupboards and their contents to the cellar, leaving only a narrow walking path through the entire basement. 


My husband stayed up very late the night before the new flooring came and ripped up the old linoleum. 


The next morning I filled coolers with the contents of the refrigerator so it could be moved when the installers arrived.


The flooring company had told us to have everything but the major appliances out of the room, so we moved our dining table and chairs into the living room, and emptied the adjoining pantry and coat closet of their contents. 

By the time the installers arrived our house was in such a state of disarray we could barely move from room-to-room. However, there was still a small space in the living room, and my bedroom wasn’t very crowded, yet. I tried to figure out how I could keep the children entertained all day in those small spaces. Homeschooling was out of the question, but they didn’t mind.

I thought the flooring men would move the appliances from one side of the work area to the other, but instead they moved the dishwasher, stove and refrigerator into the one small space left in the Living Room. This left such a small path through the Living Room that I could barely fit me and my pregnancy through that space.


I found myself in my bedroom with three energetic children, their eyes dancing with excitement. (What was Mom going to do now?)


I rarely called other people for help with my children, but that day I called Leah, a mother of nine children who were all grown and moved away. I had never called her before, and don’t know what impressed me to call her that day. When I explained the situation and asked if our children could come to her house she was thrilled with the idea, and offered to come get them. 


I eagerly anticipated that a day without the children would give me time to rest, but that didn’t happen. We had plumbers, carpenters and flooring men all working at the same time, and they asked many detailed questions throughout the day. I even went to the hardware store for one of them. 


The flooring job was only slated to last one day, so that afternoon the installers said they would carefully put the appliances back that evening, but no one should be walking on the floor until tomorrow. 


Before I could panic about where the children would sleep that night Leah called and asked if they could stay for supper. A few minutes later she called again, saying she had a short doctors appointment the next morning, and wanted to know if the children could sleep at her house, go to the city with her, and see the decorations at the mall. (The children had not mentioned it to her.) She ended up spending the day with them, taking in the sights and treating them to lunch at a ‘real restaurant’, something we didn’t do often.


After talking to Leah I called Michael and asked him to bring home sandwiches for supper—again, something we didn’t do often. We ate together on the couch where we were at perfect eye level with the pantry and closet supplies piled high on the dining room table.


Through my fatigue that night I marveled at how God had pulled everything together. The children were having a wonderful time with Leah, and the next day they would be enjoying the festivities of the season that I had been unable to show them.


On Monday, January 19th the carpenters completed their work on the upstairs, and on Tuesday January 20th the plumbers finished their work. That night I went into labor, and the next day on January 21st Benjamin was born. 


I will never forget the amazing events that surrounded My Very Pregnant Christmas. God took wonderful care of us, and He proved once again that His timing is always perfect.

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